Cabin in the Woods Movie Review

Cabin in the Woods, written by Joss Whedon (Doll House, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Avengers) and Drew Goddard (Lost, Cloverfield, Alias) – also directed by Goddard – was a fantastic horror movie. It stayed within the realm of the genre without sacrificing Whedon’s comedic touch. While the dialogue was cheesy, intentionally more than likely, the actors still did a good job of staying focused for their rolls. Curt, the leader of the college students played by Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Home and Away, A Perfect Getaway), claims that a cousin has let he and his friends spend a weekend in their secluded cabin. Curt’s girlfriend, Jules – Anna Hutchison (Wild Boys, Underbelly, Go Girls) – brings her friend Dana, Kristen Connolly (Certainty, As the World Turns, Confessions of a Shopaholic), and tries to set her up with Holden, Jesse Williams (Brooklyn’s Finest, Grey’s Anatomy, Greek). The fifth wheel and outspoken stoner is Marty played by Fran Kranz (Shades of Ray, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Donnie Darko). The original part of this movie is that they show the viewer the zipper running up the monster’s back from the get-go, similar to Goddard’s previous horror flick, Cloverfield. The audience knows the cabin isn’t what it seems while the five attractive college students remain oblivious to the dangers lying within. Meanwhile, at a nearby facility, Sitterson – Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under, Burn After Reading, Stealing Harvard), Hadley – Bradley Whitford (Billy Madison, Bicentennial Man, Bottle Shock), Lin – Amy Acker (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 21 And A Wake-Up), and a new recruit named Truman – Brian White (Brick, The Family Stone, Stomp the Yard) are getting ready for some kind of project, and have video screens tuned into the different rooms in the cabin and areas of the forest nearby. Truman expresses his apprehension toward the experiment while Sitterson, Hadley, and Lin place bets with the other patrons in the facility on what way the kids are going to be dismembered based on which clue one of them finds in the cellar. The whole thing feels like tedious torment for the kids as they’re being hunted down by a family of red-neck zombies, but there is a good reason for the cloak and dagger assault. Sealed far beneath the facility are five ancient gods that will be released if they don’t receive a blood sacrifice, one for each student. There were times when the violence was a bit much, but it wasn’t intolerably gory. The comedy aspect really carried the movie, and wouldn’t have been as entertaining without it.

~ Benjamin Allen, 4 out of 5 stars

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